Brinsley director is charged with fraud

A director from Brinsley has been given a suspended jail sentence and forced to do community service after being found guilty of fraud.

Lee James worked for a steel company and sold structural beams of a lower strength than were ordered by customers.

The 42-year-old, who was a director at Nottingham Steel, had responsibility for sales and warehouse activities and stole steel beams from the company. He then sold them as scrap and supplied others of a lower weight and strength.

Another worker, Nicholas Densham, was found guilty of similar offences.

The case involved 15 customers, including construction companies, builders and private homeowners.

Corinne Kennedy purchased two supporting beams for an extension to her Victorian farmhouse. She had to have the beams reinforced after finding out that they did not meet building regulations.

Corinne said: “It set our project back a year and we were living in a caravan, so it had a devastating impact on our lives.”

The criminal activity was carried out without the knowledge of the company’s managing director, Glynne Martin.

Mr Martin said: “The company, having been vindicated of any wrong doing can now concentrate on its core objective as it has since 1992 – our continued commitment to supply East Midlands industry with certified quality steel products.”

James pleaded guilty to seventeen counts of fraud against customers, one count of theft from the company and two counts of false accounting from February 2010 and May 2011.

He was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for 18 months and given a 250 hour community punishment order at Nottingham Crown Court last week.

Densham, from Nottingham, who played a lesser role in the criminal activity, pleaded guilty to five counts of fraud from September 2010 to March 2011. He was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for 18 months and a 200 hour community punishment order.

Nicola Schofield, trading standards manager at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “The actions of the two defendants could have had a serious impact on the safety of their customers and owners who had their buildings constructed using lower strength steel beams.”